Anxiety in my house

Anxiety usually creeps into my house at night, when all are tired and moods have shifted. It surrounds us with a gloomy shroud, a fine mist of dread, ambivalence and upset, enough to make the strongest of minds find doubt and feel weak.

We have experienced much of this in the past few months with transition into high school. Everyone told me freshman year is the hardest, but you get through it. Keep calm and carry on, that sort of thing.  Carry on we did, but not without some battle scars and illness. Scars likely to open up again and heal.

The local high schools perhaps having recognized that teen anxiety is at its peak, have begun a series of classes for parents about recognizing anxious behavior, its impact on students and how to cope. When I speak with other parents, It’s heartening to hear their stories. The “I feel socially awkward” or “I don’t know anyone and feel isolated” common to many of us, has provided a forum for discussion between parents I know, which has helped us come up with personalized coping tools for our teens. I would love to see some sort of social gathering within the school, where just the freshman class can gather and get to know each other, aside from freshman orientation.

When my youngest transitioned into middle school this year( another difficult phase), they had something called ‘a week of welcome.’ Lots of team building activities, team t-shirts that were color coded and a day trip to the beach with food provided by the school, made it fun. It is amazing how many friendships were made. Some are now un-made but the teachers work around it to ensure the environment is inclusive.

Marching band, the high school music program and cooking have saved my people many a time this past year. That sort of healing was a grounding of sorts, like an anchor.

“If music be the food of love, play on” wrote Shakespeare in Twelfth Night,  Act 1, Scene 1 

Anxiety and teen anxiety are much discussed topics in our home. We are all learning how to exist within that space and be mindful of who is most vulnerable at any given time. It seems to rotate. While we figure it out, we have also learned much about ourselves. Knowing that we help each other with simple gifts like chocolate, reading and running time for me, music, a teen/adult Tai Kwon Do class for my oldest and cooking for my youngest, we are certainly trying to live mindfully and patiently.

With roughly 5 months to go until the end of the school year, we are watching for Spring break and all of the small holidays that will give us time to reframe our minds and forget this year of transition. We are quietly looking for the positives that propel us onward.

When you face any sort of change, transition or anxiety, what keeps you positive and present?






  1. Doing something that I have control over. Even if it’s just doodling. Anxiety is relatively new to me. Don’t think I will ever get used to it.


    1. This much anxiety is new to me too, Colleen. I don’t think I will ever get used to it either.
      Love that you doodle! Controlling what you can is the advice I often give my daughter.


      1. It’s good advice.

        And my anxiety is at night as well. I guess we can muddle through it with help from friends. 🙂


      2. Muddle through it we will Colleen. I really dislike that time of night when I feel anxious.


      3. I have found that having low noise playing in the background helps keep my brain from going to places I don’t want it to go. And I have a “playlist” of songs/prayers I say repeatedly over and over in my head to detour my brain from thinking. 🙂


  2. deborahkehoe says:

    As an adult it’s the confidence I have in myself. Kids are still building that confidence and so they must rely on friends and family to help them look through the crap and stay on their path. I am glad to hear that schools have all of these classes for parents and ways to ease a kids transition and growth. It must be so much harder than when I was in high school! Good luck!


    1. I think high school is so much about fitting in and having a community when you go in, that transition can be a bit traumatic if you go in from a smaller school without a pack of your own. She is doing much better after Winter break and we are wading through all that rubbish slowly but surely to build on that confidence. I am constantly talking in my house, my jaw hurts at the end of the day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. deborahkehoe says:

        It sounds like she is lucky to have you as a mom!!


      2. Oh you are lovely, thank you!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “I Pray.”
    “I turn to God.”
    Sometimes, that’s the only place I have left to go is on my knees!
    Of course, writing, as you are doing now, dear!

    xx XX


    1. Faith is all I have too Kim, running, writing and chocolate help as well… xxx


  4. reocochran says:

    When my kids were in high school, my son didn’t do as well as my girls did. I took him weekly to a male therapist and we would eat dinner, play pool, bowl or hike before or after. He “got lost and needed to feel connected to me” the doctor told us. My now ex-husband took my son’s little chores away from him. (He told my son he didn’t do them “right.”)
    He used to like starting the car, scraping ice and mowing the lawn. . . while he was in middle school but it reared its head and surfaced while he was in high school.
    I loved this time with my son, since I often shopped or walked with my daughters. I now recommend time for each individual like you are doing with cooking, etc. You are going to beat this! 🌟


    1. Robin it makes total sense. We connect a lot, my daughter and I. I talk all the time and my jaw hurts at the end of the day because she needs to hear me reassure her. She likes being with me, just to hug me, talk to me and even argue with me!
      She finds that time therapeutic.
      We go to the movies, book shopping or Starbucks, or I walk and she rides her bike talking about her classes. She likes her teachers but not the whole social aspect.
      I hope we are on the right track! I keep my heart and mind open with no judgement. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. It really helps.


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